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Old 08-28-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Heading to the NW, 4 sure.
4,470 posts, read 6,633,130 times
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I was watching a special about train service and how years ago the food
was almost top notch.
Now, I am wondering if anyone out has traveled by train in the US and
how the food was.

I also wonder how the food is on trains in Europe etc.

Something different to find out about.

HW
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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Not exactly exotic, but I've dined on the Amtrak Coast Starlight down the West Coast. I really don't remember what I ate. It was unremarkable. I'm pretty sure it was some kind of noodle dish, overall cafeteria quality. Real linens, silverware, and service, though.

What was nice was because I was traveling alone I was asked to share with another lone traveler, so it was good conversation to idle some time away. It may have been because of the time or fewer passengers that run that we weren't rushed out of our table, so it was a leisurely recess from what is a relatively pokey form of travel.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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Can't wait to hear the other responses for this.

I rode Amtrak from Savannah (GA) to NYC many years ago. It's something I had always kind of wanted to do again.

A few years ago I was actually in the planning stages and would have gone from Atlanta to New Orleans, spent about a day and half in New Orleans and then on to San Antonio.

As I researched the trip I was pleased with the menu offerings. In fact, the dinner ones seemed more varied than I remembered. That trip fell through, but I remember liking breakfast and lunch better than dinner on the NYC trip.

Have you ever taken a train trip? It's a different way to travel from a certain age on down, but I would still like to take another one sometime. Like you, I'm curious about the food on European trains.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:12 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,803 posts, read 19,616,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter Wold View Post
I was watching a special about train service and how years ago the food
was almost top notch.
Now, I am wondering if anyone out has traveled by train in the US and
how the food was.

I also wonder how the food is on trains in Europe etc.

Something different to find out about.

HW
I've only gotten food from the Cafe car on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner ... Everything is prepackaged salads, microwavable and junk food .... I'm hoping that Amtrak's longer distance trains have better quality food that this
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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My one hot meal on a train was on the old Southern Railroad ... the food was quite good on the level of a good diner.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:58 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,223,031 times
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Well I had Dinner on the Wine Train in Napa Valley.

My grandfather who worked on the SP railroad for 44 years was planning on taking us grandkids on a cross country train trip back in the 1970's. But he passed before it occured.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I grew up in Europe and remember wonderful meals on trains. Things my mother would never have cooked at home. I also traveled all over Europe as an adult but mostly on Eurorail pass as i was poor!

Train travel would add so much to our society in this country.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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Even in Europe, the "dining car" with linens and silverware is really only for private luxury trains now. A basic snack bar of prepared/microwaved food or a buffet is more common. My European train travels have very rarely been over 8 hours, so I usually just pick up something before I get on board. In some cities, even in the train station you may have decent options. Then I'll buy a glass of wine to have with my meal in the club car and usually just eat at my seat to avoid dragging my bags with me.

The only train in the US I take with any regularity is Boston-NYC. I always just bring something with me. I just looked at Amtrak's menu for long-haul trips and it doesn't look any better than airline food.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
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I've traveled by train in Europe and in Mexico but never really in the US, except for short little trips, like as a kid going from Dallas to Fort Worth with my granddad. He just wanted us to experience a train ride, since it was a something that was dying at that time. And a couple of times on commuter trains on the east coast.

The most recent time was just a few years ago taking the train from Avignon to Paris. It was the TGV (bullet train), so it was only a couple of hours. No food. The time before that was in Mexico from Nogales to Mazatlan. We took our own food and wine on that journey. We were in the first class car, which happened to be the last car on the train, and we didn't really want to venture through the rest of the cars, where people were traveling with livestock and Lord knows what else, to eat food that might be questionable. I have also traveled another time by train in Europe, but it was when I was a teenager in the 70's. I don't recall if there was food or not. I think we just got on at night, and then when we woke up the next morning we were at our destination.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 22,706,766 times
Reputation: 10525
I think the days of fine dining on trains is unfortunately long gone. Amtrak serves airline food when they have it at all. I've traveled all over the UK on trains, several trips, and I found that some trains only have snack trollies now, while the ones that have a dining car basically have very limited selections of reheated food. If I had a long leg of travel to manage I'd try to pick up something to-go in the cafe at the station before boarding. Or as they say there, "takeaway."

Fortunately most trains in the UK do have a lounge car where you can buy beer, wine, spirits, and snacks. I remember the Caledonian Sleeper from London to Edinburgh offered haggis and you could pre-order coffee and breakfast for the morning.

In the US the only fine dining I've experienced on a train since my childhood was the Spirit of Washington dinner train near Seattle, co-sponsored by Chateau St. Michelle winery, but that was a special situation to be sure.
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